Minutes October 2019

Ahead of Remembrance Sunday, high attendance at this meeting was a clear indicator of community frustration about the state of our public spaces and willingness to contribute to village development. Cllr Jim Muirhead was in attendance to hear it first hand.

Jeremy Adderley, NCC Chair

7pm-8.45pm Tuesday 29th October 2019

Members Present In Attendance
  • Ann Gunn
  • Andrew Marshall (Minutes Secretary)
  • Jeremy Adderley (Chair)
  • June Robertson
  • Jason Ferry
  • John Muir (Treasurer)
  • James Smith (Secretary)
  • Linda Anderson
  • Maureen McRae
  • Ross Anderson
  • Gillian Cousins (Midlothian Council)
  • Rev. Gayle Taylor
  • Gareth Davies (Midlothian Council)
  • Cllr Jim Muirhead (Midlothian Council)
  • Fiona Horne (NC1)
  • PC Brian McGuff
  • PC James Pendreich
  • Emma Grabowski
  • Liz Wilson
  • Kenny Hunter
  • Lorna Hanna-Stephenson
  • Fiona Brooks
  1. Welcome & Apologies
    1. Welcome and introductions to new Transitional Minister for Parish of  Newbattle, Newtongrange, Mayfield & Easthouses Churches Rev Gail Taylor (GT), Gareth Davies (Planning Midlothian Council) and the return of Councillor Jim Muirhead
    2. No apologies
  2. Police Report – Brian McGuff
    1. Between 22nd September and 29th October 2019 in beat area MS03 – Newtongrange, there were 26 recorded crimes reported, of which 13 to date have been solved. This is a detection rate of 50%. During this time period there were 121 calls to Police.
    2. Items of Note – Speed monitoring controls continue along Newbattle Road (an action raised by community member & AG) resulted in a 56mph recording on 30mph road. Monitoring continuing all over Midlothian by PC McGuff & Pendreich.
    3. Lockdown crime event was sadly cancelled at late notice in September. The Sidings venue is no longer an option as closed for the foreseeable future & considered dangerous by Scottish Water (see Midlothian Advertiser for latest https://www.midlothianadvertiser.co.uk/news/people/flooding-leaves-the-sidings-cafe-in-newtongrange-off-track-1-5039963)
    4. Litterpick will be held on a different day to Lockdown Date TBC.  PC McGuff mentioned the library and Beacon (as originally planned as joint event with Gorebridge) Rev. Gayle Taylor offered the church hall date and time to be considered November meeting.
    5. With return of dark nights JR reported wheelie bin incident 24/10/19. PC McGuff/Pendreich advised to keep bins in a secure place. A dedicated patrol for Bonfire Night will take place and the 14 day (Operation Trojan) has commenced.
  3. Minutes of Previous Meeting/ Matters Arising (Newtongrange Masterplan – Gareth Davies, Midlothian Council moved to 4 to accommodate late arrivals)
    1. Minutes proposed by JR and seconded by JA. This was undertaken after a review of Matters Arising. Actions are noted in Bold.
    2. NCC and attendees brought up the terrible condition of Welfare Park described by LA as once the jewel in the crown of the village was brought up Councillor JiM reiterated the importance of communicating with the three Councillors in our Ward himself, CJ & KM (although LA already in regular contact). GC mentioned Midlothian Council complaints/report procedures online here. The essential community day clean up on 26/10/19 supported financially by The Dean Tavern/Terry Healy Group/Nathan MayesNGC/NC1 repairing the War Memorial area in the park highlighted the extreme neglect of MC Justin Vernon who had agreed to maintain War Memorial. The attendees highlighted the upset caused by the condition. The limited grass cutting was also brought up by JM (Ron discussed MC budget in September meeting). NCC have now made Grace Vickers, GD, JiM, MSP CG aware of JV commitment. Upkeep of Newtongrange park and flower beds. Members had raised the issue of poor and sporadic grass cutting to the park. It was agreed in September meeting JS would write to Christine Grahame MSP confirming the actions and programme given by Justin Venton and whether these were being kept.
    3. LA commented about the “just in time” approach by MC for Gala Day, VE Day and now Remembrance Sunday. FH (NC1) asked for a joined up approach with MC if necessary to have a joint clean up well in advance of such historic events. NCC action for next meeting.
    4. Online forms completed for additional bins (roadside layby, opposite chip shop and library), Line markings and green walkways. JA
    5. JA raised the double roundabout safety and recent knock down with MC, Although in the 10 worst poll in Scotland amongst cycling community,  due to no injuries reported it is not currently a safety issue for council. NCC to request some solution i.e. at least repainted markings JA
  4. Newtongrange Masterplan – Gareth Davies, Midlothian Council
    1. Gareth Davies updated the group on the Masterplan & how the centre may be progressed and thanks to the meeting a stakeholder group will be formed including MC, NCLC, Church & NCC representatives GD agreed to lead on this.  Masterplan process approved by MC cabinet in July 2019 as a “land usage, scope for the used community, retail uses. Now looking for innovative look at the use of the buildings (nothing fixed still at an early Masterplan stage). The two keys areas GD discussed were the Old Swimming Pool/Leisure Centre & The Library/Church Hall areas. LA advised that we kept the village centre square a public space, not housing up to the road. COOP site not discussed however.  (NCLC and Welfare Park Point 4.).
    2. Rev Gayle Taylor on church decision for its own future development. The current concept is to retain and refurbish empty shell of the listed and “well loved” church building, seeking to work in partnership. To replace church hall for a new multi-function village “resource” church and community provision with the church looking at library service provision within the new church hall. Examples given Mayfield & Easthouses Church, Newbattle Community Campus. Sale of the land around will not generate the complete money required for project. Rev GT meeting with Trusttes of the Church to create concept sketches to see what we are allowed to do with the building(s).
    3. Masterplan housing has still to be fully considered. GD mentions option of Private Companies or Registered Social Landlord (RSL). If RSL with multiple tenure would need a stakeholder buy in with “big vision” required to get grants and would involve multiple local community group involvement.
    4. Gareth Davies highlighted how NCLC was overlooked in the original Masterplan. GD’s discussion point with it’s likely long term closure could we create a community facility in Welfare Park are inc. astro football pitches and bowling green (Newtongrange Star Academy)? AM noted that this would incorporate the whole of Newtongrange constituent parts as the park is the centre of the village. GD the intention was to rule out building  another Gorebridge Beacon but create a flexible space with the potential for ground source heating etc. GD highlighted this project as an example. JF challenged Gareth Davies regarding building upon welfare Park based on the following information:
      Welfare Park was designated as Queen Elizabeth Field under Fields in Trust in 2015 following approval by council which offers the pack protection from development. GD acknowledged the current protection and confirm the development could therefore only happen if the community explicitly requested this from Midlothian Council.
    5. All keen to see action on the former swimming pool site “improve sad situation”, JiM stated he was against hoardings (grafitti removed before meeting). AM still to review some high level landscaping options, for a reduced budget via grants.
    6. AM contacted Mary Smith (update) and Justin Venton regarding end of weed killer use and alternative plans. JiM stated that he did not vote for removal of weed killer and no cost effective solution is currently to be found. JA passed Ron’s photographs to JiM of the ‘forgotten centre of Newtongrange’ and requested an alternative needs to be provided and noting evidence of blocked drains from weed growth and cracking pavements.
    7. The importance of improving the arterial road, transport links and parking specifically Murderdean Road corner was brought up by Kenny Hunter.
  5. Remembrance Day
    1. JF asked if further NCC members wanted to volunteer coordinating on the day from 10:30am get in touch with Linda Lawrence from the British Legion.
    2. JM purchase wreath £35
    3. JR confirmed that she will lay the wreath on NMCC’s behalf.
  6. Newsletter – scope and timings –  see application – Jeremy
    1. Paper newsletter campaign promoting NCC which will catch every household in Newtongrange over 3 years to be worked up by JA and AM. JM povided example of the Eskbank/Newbattle newsletter and Rosewell produce a calendar.
    2. JS to issue bullet point list of current issues requested last meeting by MSP, based on previous minutes, once received. ALL to assist by passing their items to JS.
    3. After the positive impromptu summer litter pick, a follow up event is to be planned and coordinated by JR. Date was agreed to coincide with next Crime Lockdown Event, ideally litter pick morning and lunch time event. JR to ask PC McGuff to propose dates and contact Midlothian Council for lend of equipment.
    4. Update from JA on Hardengreen/Newtongrange Cycle path, successful subject to council approval (granted at time of writing)- facebook page has been set up for interested “Midlothian Active Travel Action Group”. Future plan for NCC to leaflet to refer to, and JA/AM post online, sometime after Remembrance as community recently asked to see plans etc. via facebook
  7. Website & Social Media – Website access available now to all online NCC members. Any members skilled in social media? How can members feed into this process? (B/F – Ross to have FB access) ALL to discuss at next meeting
  8. Reports
    1. Councillor’s – oor attendance was noted by all – JS contacted councillors to request attendance/ Jim Muirhead attended this meeting. JM to give example of CC rights on subject in November meeting.
    2. Treasurer – .  Bank Account £3,435.51 and £35 for Remembrance Day wreath
    3. Federation of Community Councils – Can JS supply notes?
    4. Funding Applications – JA did not proceed with £2000 micro grants application. Investigating with JF possible grant for wild flower bedding and clean up:
      • MC Small Grant funding – did not apply
      • Edinburgh University Community Grant – £5,000 
      • https://landcommission.gov.scot/pub/funding-sources-for-bringing-vacant-and-derelict-land-back-in-to-use/
      • https://www.evoc.org.uk/noticeboard/notices/volunteering-matters-action-earth-grants – £50-£500, community green space projects – wildflower planting?
  9. Correspondence
    1. Disposal of Jubilee Beacon – Jason
    2. Seating in the park  – Andrew
    3. Litter clearing – Andrew
    4. Track2Train/ the Sidings – Jeremy
    5. MATAG – Midlothian Active Travel Action Group – Jeremy
    6. Tidy of the memorial – community action – Jason
    7. Fly-tipping The Square (B/F update ref MC 163642 Jeremy)
    8. Road Safety (B/F update? Jeremy)
    9. Redirect on gmail email to secretary@newtongrange.org – (B/F is this done?) 
  10. Any Other Business
    1. Need new Health rep. to be motioned at AGM.
    2. John Muir to report on Community Council Training Day which he attended 26/10/19. JM
  11. Date of next meeting
    1. AGM Tuesday 26th November 2019 at 7.00 pm at Newbattle Community Learning Centre

Signed – Ross Anderson 06/11/19

Ross Anderson

Ross Anderson

I'm involved with the Newtongrange Community Council because I want to help preserve the unique heritage, character & facilities of the village.

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